「Murder on D Street」
Man, how can anyone not be following this series? I feel like I picked up the two most fitting shows for me this season – not only do they not air on a Friday/Saturday, but they’re fun, creative and I love my mysteries! They don’t have to be super difficult or tedious, they just have to be believable and usually the best part is how we get to the solution; not the solution itself. That’s why I still enjoy simpler series like Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin or GOSICK or Subete ga F ni Naru. I know Bungou Stray Dogs isn’t necessarily a mystery series primarily, but the fact that they even have characters like detectives and claim to be an “agency” solidify my appreciation for it. The rounded characters, the underlying story and the fact that it’s all wrapped up in this world of mystery is what pulls me in.
It’s so fitting that Bungou Stray Dogs delivers its own version of Sherlock Holmes this week in the form of Edogawa Ranpo (Kamiya Hiroshi). I actually recently finished watching Sherlock (the British TV drama mini-series) and it’s like Ranpo is the animated version of Holmes, except with his own personality quirks. Edogawa Ranpo (the actual man) was an author though that wrote mystery novels – and one of them was titled “Murder on D Street”. Did you know there’s been another anime recently that was inspired by Ranpo though? So while Ranpo’s character isn’t based on an actual detective, we know that he had influences from other fictional characters. Whether or not you believe that someone could have the deductive abilities like Ranpo is up to interpretation, but I’m always amazed by how these fictional characters can draw conclusions just based on observations. Even the simple things like listening carefully (as demonstrated by Dazai) can tell you a lot. I loved watching Sherlock for those reasons (amongst many reasons) and I’m happy to see Ranpo have the same “abilities” but have a personality that’s not just quiet and aloof. Of course, when Dazai revealed that Ranpo didn’t actually have powers at all, it completely blew my mind. I was under the assumption that everyone at the agency was gifted. But Ranpo’s an exception and he’s able to carry his own weight and then some. No wonder he has such respect from his peers around him and I’m looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table next.
The case itself wasn’t a terribly strong or interesting one. The actual story titled Murder on D Street was actually about an affair so the circumstances were a little different in the anime. Still – it’s about a dead woman and who might’ve murdered her. There was some mention of the Port Mafia and their signature killing techniques (which is extremely gruesome by the way) but nothing terribly substantial that leads me to believe it will tie to the larger picture. It felt more like an introductory episode for Ranpo and his abilities.
Although Atsushi is the main character of this series, I can’t help but feel that Dazai steals the spotlight every time he emerges. Atsushi doesn’t bother me in any way but he doesn’t really carry the show as a single character. It’s everyone around him that really has the personality to drive interest – Ranpo, Dazai and Doppo being my favorites so far. Doppo will probably get more screen time next episode, but Dazai has really captured my attention since the beginning. He can be goofy, flamboyant, and yet very serious at the same time. It’s like he’s an over-exaggerated character because he’s hiding something and when we find out what that is, it’s going to shatter that image of him. He’s clearly a smart dude as well (although not as strong in investigations as Ranpo) but he probably has his own issues with the need to suicide all the time. I’m looking forward to that moment when we finally hear of his faults and how that’s going to change the dynamics of the agency.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: I just finished watching #Sherlock so Ranpo is like a anime version of him! Amazing character and I love his “skill”. Don’t worry though Dazai, you’re still my favorite 😉 #bungousd